The result of this decision is sure to be a lower number of people
vaccinated, over a longer period of time. We know that will cause
more COVID deaths. By contrast, just one death is currently
associated with this vaccine. It’s unpleasant to measure one set
of deaths against another, but that’s precisely what must be done
in a public health crisis. If we were able to vaccinate all of the
US with the J&J vaccine, we would currently expect to see about
330 issues with blood clots. Meanwhile, more than 560,000
Americans have lost their lives to COVID already, with 330 more
being killed by COVID every few hours.
The worst part about this is that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is almost certainly our best vaccine. The efficacy numbers aren’t what matters — the J&J vaccine is way more than effective enough. What matters is that it’s single-dose. The single-dose J&J vaccine is the clearest path to pushing our overall nationwide (and worldwide) vaccinated numbers into herd immunity territory, wiping COVID-19 from the face of the earth. It would be a catastrophic mistake to panic over one-in-a-million blood clots for any of the approved vaccines, but it’s a worst-case scenario to unjustly malign our only highly-effective single-dose vaccine.